Monthly Archives: March 2013

Foodie Pen Pals, March!

I know, I know, the PE exam has eaten me alive, and i haven’t been blogging.  Add to that i’ll be writing at Our Poly  Home & House Rose soon (we’ll get to those in another post) and yeah, no writing from your domestic geek.

But!  I did get a lovely package this month!  Catherine, of Pursuing Domestic Goddessness sent me a great package! It turns out she’s in Worcester, home of my college alma mater, so we had some fun chatting about that.  And she grew up just a few towns from where i live now!  It’s really a small world.


The box. This is the best part of FPP. The mystery of what’s inside!!!!


The goods

And here’s what there was:

  • Sweets from The Crown Bakery, a Worcester favorite. These didn’t last long. Fresh bakery items, i had to eat them fast, ya know, before they went bad.
  • Newton Fruit Thins – Fig & Honey, which i was nervous about, not being a fan of Fig Newtons, but these are SO yummy. They are very thin, but a great texture and taste!
  • Harney & Sons black currant tea, which is about to be opened today so i can drink some and study.  I hadn’t ever had currant flavored things until recently, but i like it, so i’m sure this will be some wonderful tea!
  • 34 degree crisps peppery crackers, which i haven’t gotten to try yet, but i am saving for a special occasion.  One Ian, with a pepper allergy, isn’t around for.
  • Lake Champlain Rum Caramel Chocolate.  The chocolate… that i savored for a few days, a piece a day. WOW. Wow. Wow.  Again, something i wasn’t sure i would like, the rum caramel, was so incredibly happy making.

I really loved that she took the time in her letter to explain why she picked what she did and her connections with these things.  I can’t wait to try the recipe she included too!



The Lean Green Bean

And now it’s time for some details about Foodie Penpals.  In case you’re a new reader, here’s a reminder of what the program is all about:

-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal! 
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month. 
-Foodie Penplas is open to US, Canadian & European residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. Same with Europeans. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa. 

If you’re from the US or Canada and are in participating for November, please CLICK HERE ( to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions. 

You must submit your information by April 4th as pairings will be emailed on April 5th!

*If you’re from Europe, please CLICK HERE ( to signup.


Weekend Review

As i said the other day, I spent Friday night with Ian, being a second set of hands with his son, Connor.  We watched some Thomas the Tank Engine and i learned the new obsession is Monster Trucks.  He’s not quite 2, so it’s sometimes tricky to understand him when he’s stomping around going MONTER MONTER! but it’s also pretty hilarious.

Saturday I attended the Five College Queer Gender & Sexuality Conference at Hampshire College.  This was my 3rd year attending, and 2nd year speaking.  I participated with the my family on Building a Poly Home.  It’s a little tricky, because i am part of the family but i don’t live in the same place.  Some topics are super relevant, like scheduling time and agreeing on common values, and some aren’t, like grocery shopping.  I think we did a great job though, and the format we used worked well from our perspective.

I tried to attend the keynote, but it was way too academic for me.  With the nephew getting antsy (hoooooome! hooooome!) we called it a day in the early afternoon and went back to Springfield for movies and wings.

Sunday was non-toddler adventures!  I met up with folks to see American Idiot at the Bushnell.  It was fun.  It was entertaining.  It was weird.  And we all kind of agreed we didn’t know how we felt about it.  It was very angry young man-ish, except that’s not something we’ve all experienced.  I think we wanted more character development.  Afterwards we went to one of my favorite places, The Counter, which is a build your own burger sort of place.  It’s where Ian and i often go on date night, and it felt good to share with with everyone.  We’ve gone other times, so it wasn’t new to them, but still.  We didn’t have our favorite waitress, which maybe explains why some folks didn’t get their drinks though.

This weekend has me thinking about family, being out, teaching, honesty and where i fit.  We are talking about blogging on being poly on another site.  If we do i’ll let you know.

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Cleaning the washer


I’m at an awkward phase, cleaning and organizing wise. There are, of course, tons of things to do. I could sweep the living room or deal with the growing mess in the basement or rearrange the kitchen cabinets. But the things I want to do are the small steps in big project tasks. So today I dealt with the washing machine.

It’s been several years and I think I ran it once empty with bleach, but that’s it. And a layer of ick had developed on the agitator. And drum. And dirt and lint had grown in crevices.

I dusted, scrubbed and ran two cycles, one with bleach, one with vinegar. I filled the drum with hot water and the bleach or vinegar, then let it sit for an hour before running the hottest, longest cycle available. I’m happy to say – no more ick!

And while I waited for it to fill, i dusted the disastrous shelves in the laundry room. We previously didn’t have the dryer vent outside, the the dust and lint accumulated in the room. As a result anything in the room got dusty. We’ve corrected the issue, but haven’t really cleaned. So this was a start. I tossed some old detergents we won’t use and that was ok. Why keep things we don’t need or want? And while money might be tight, if we really, really need a specific brand of stain remover, we can replace it.

So it sounds silly, but the washer is clean. And it was easy, just took a few trips up and down the stairs. I’m proud of it!

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Shiny sink


So much of flylady drives me bonkers. Purple everything. Lots of “buy this thing to clean your house and reduce clutter” when the reality is only you can make a cleaner house, and few special tools are needed.

But shining my sink? It makes a difference. It means no dishes are left inside. Or wet spots for lucky to get his paws into (and leave paw prints everywhere). The clean has spread across the counter, and now part of my night time routine is cleaning the counter. Which leads to wiping to stovetop down. And sometimes the light switch, since the rag is already in my hand.

It might sound like a lot, but its literally 2 minutes. And my whole kitchen benefits. So here is my sink. It’s not perfect, but it is shining.

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Expanding yoga

Last night was a good yoga class. With one week of sick and another because of school vacation I’d had a few weeks off. Coming back to the mat was a very good thing, especially since I’d had a stressful day and didn’t want to.

We had a wonderful guided meditation on embracing out childlike selves and it made my smile.

This morning I decided to make a change, expanding my morning practice from sun breathes to sun salutations. I think it will be a good change.

Tonight I am hanging out with Ian and the nephew. We’re currently enjoying Thomas the Tank Engine while Ian books a hotel room for a conference in August. It’s a quiet but good night. Yay for that.